Dark Parties by Sara Grant
Reading Level: Young Adult
Release Date: August 3, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Summary: In a world shrouded in fear and lies, how can you shed light on the truth? Sixteen-year-old Neva lives in Homeland, an isolated country separated from the rest of the world by the Protectosphere. The government insists there’s nothing beyond its borders, but as Homeland’s resources dwindle, people, girls mainly, have started to go missing. If there’s no way out of the Protectosphere, where are they going? Suspecting the government is lying about everything, Neva and her friends stage a Dark Party in the hope of uncovering the truth and finding the freedom they dream about.
My Review: The characters in Dark Parties live in a society where it's safeguarded by the Protectosphere, a secluded bubble run by the overzealous government. Rebellion is frowned upon, while orderly conduct and a plain way of living is enforced. I'm sure most of you have heard the saying, "Big brother is watching you." In this case, it's very much true, the quiet revolt is slowly sweeping across the people. However, if careful precautions aren't taken, the vigilant government will easily make individuals disappear. Creepy right? One day you are attending secret meetings, the next you are gone without a trace.
In the beginning, Sara introduces the reader to a party where faces are hidden in the dark, causing the novel to create a sinister atmosphere. At first, I was a bit confused on what exactly was happening, however it didn't falter my curiosity. Also, in the mix of things the protagonist, Neva, is surprised when someone makes out with her. When the lights go on, her best friend's boyfriend is looking at her and smiling. Oh the drama! Let me just say, the kissing scenes throughout Dark Parties were pretty steamy, Sara sure knows how to start with a bang! If you decide to read the book and find the first chapter a little awkward, I promise it gets better once you pass it.
Moving on, Neva's confidence and determination helped me connect with her on a deeper level. The thought behind the "missing" being out there, gave her the fuel she needed to find out secrets no one expected. In addition, the blossoming relationship between Neva and Sanna's boyfriend captivated me until the end. Yes, it was wrong in so many ways, but the undeniable chemistry was there all along. All in all, I really enjoyed the amusement value of the storyline. After reading so many dystopian books this year, I can say that this one had elements that I usually look for. It kept me interested from start to finish with heart pumping chapters and likable characters. From the way it left off, I have a feeling a sequel is in the works. I'm excited to see what ride Sara takes me on next!
If you're interested in reading Dark Parties, go here to enter my contest!
Sara Grant is an American living in the UK. Born and raised in Washington, Indiana, Sara graduated from Indiana University with degrees in journalism and psychology. She now works as a freelance writer and editor for Working Partners, a London-based company creating series fiction for children. She lives in London with her husband. This is her first novel.
For more info on Sara, visit her sites: